Toots Caboose and Rose Festival Character Clown Corps pals clown around on KATU's AM Northwest

Last spring I had the pleasure of being accepted to Clown School for the Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps. In the intense three-day workshop I created the identity of my clown alter-ego Toots Caboose, designed signature make-up, coordinated a train engineer costume, created a physical persona for the character and learned how to play well with other clowns.

My participation in the 2009 Character Clown Corps was an incredible experience, with public appearances at National Train Day at historic Union Station, the Fred Meyer Junior Rose Parade and the KeyBank Grand Floral Parade as major highlights. Walking the Grand Floral Parade route, with an estimated 500,000 viewers lining the downtown Portland streets, was a bit overwhelming.

Earlier this week, I got an email from Boss Clown Angel Ocasio asking that Toots Caboose participate in a Character Clown Corps effort to recruit members of the clown class of 2010 with an appearance on KATU's AM Northwest show. At the Portland Rose Festival office, Angel, clown pal Dolly and I were met by AM Northwest producer/reporter Janice Bangs - and "Cameraman Bob."

Cameraman Bob, Dolly, Toots Caboose, Bango and Boss Clown Angel after taping the Portland Rose Festival Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps recruiting segment for AM Northwest

Out of costume, Dolly (Michele) and I joined Angel in judging the possible new recruit's clown school audition (video above - top). After Bangs nailed her try-out, Angel coordinated the makeup and costume that transformed the reporter into Bango - while clowns Dolly and Toots Caboose evolved in the background. Our AM Northwest segment taping came to an end with Angel, Dolly and Toots Caboose assisting Bango with her first clown trick. It was a fun afternoon of clowning around.

The Portland Rose Festival Character Clown Corps is currently seeking applicants, age 14 years and older, for its 2010 clown workshop class. If interested, applications must be received by Monday, March 1, 2010. Additional information, and a downloadable application form, are available on the Character Clown Corps website.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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